Though it is merely the fourth, full day of VAMPY, campers have experienced a wide variety of afternoon activities with many more to come. Not long after an evening filled with ice breakers and meeting new friends, optionals and community time became vital pieces of a regular camp routine. Upon returning from class, campers have a wide variety of “mandatory optionals” to choose from.
A refreshing change of pace from a day of focusing on calculus, famous literature, or proper techniques for mailing potato chips, campers sign up for either active or creative optionals to participate in after dinner. The optionals are created by counselors and can be straightforward games of ultimate Frisbee, math-related snack times, or critiquing campus buildings (or the contents of counselors’ rooms). There is only rule: the campers cannot know anything about the optional they signed up for besides the name, whether it is active, and which counselors are leading it.
Another nightly occurrence that campers look forward to is community time. After teaching assistants dismiss campers from study hall, they have the opportunity to socialize either in the lobby of Northeast or on the back lawn. During this time, it is common to find campers making friendship bracelets, writing encouraging notes (lovingly named “warm fuzzies”), and playing cards inside. Walking out the back door, one would find simultaneous games of soccer and Frisbee, guitar playing, and groups of friends talking about their optionals or classes that day.
Today, campers and counselors alike are excited for a slight change in afternoon activities. We are honored to welcome a guest speaker, Dr. Paula Grisanti from the National Stem Cell Foundation, who will discussion research that the foundation funds involving stem cell regeneration. As this is the future of medicine and an interest shared by many, we are looking forward to learning more about advancements thus far. Although we have enjoyed the familiarity of the schedule this week, preparation has commenced for the full and exciting list of activities that will take place this weekend, ranging from a stargazing party to the intense VAMPY Olympics.